A few weeks have passed since my last post and I think it’s time for an update on how Oscar’s training is going. I’m happy to share that the last few classes have been great and that Oscar has shown lots of progress! Oscar now knows that when we walk out onto the training floor it is time to WORK. He sits next to me and, for the most part, follows my commands and actively participates in the class without being distracted by the other participants.
Here’s some of what we’ve been working on in and out of class:
- Heel – Oscar starts by sitting to my left side, then starts walking at my command while matching my pace whether it is normal speed or “slow heel”. We practice turns to change directions and halt (slow to stop and sit).
- Sit/Stay – Oscar sits to my left side and stays in position while I step out in front to face him. He keeps eye contact with me, but does not move until I “release” him (this is called an “exercise finish” – where you touch the dog and praise him, letting him know that he has done a good job!).
- Down – Oscar lies down to my left side, and stays down while I move in front of him, only getting up when I “release” him.
- Motivational “comes” – Oscar starts at heel sitting, I tell him to “wait” then walk out in front 5-6 feet. He stays in sit position as I walk out and doesn’t move until I call him to come. The trainers have us make a BIG DEAL out of praising the dogs as we call them to us. Most dogs are very excited by this – they run and jump and play with their handler…but Oscar was so tired that while I made a big fuss to call him, jumping and cheering in a high pitched voice “OSCAR COME!! OSCAR GOOD BOY!! COME OSCAR…OSCAR, OSCAR, OSCAR!!”…Oscar just very slowly sauntered toward me with his bulldog swagger looking at me like…”Are you serious? I’m so much cooler than you lady”. Everybody had a good laugh at this.
We received a few compliments and thumbs up from the trainers. They have pointed out that Oscar is doing very well and has really improved since the first class. I’m really happy to share this update in Oscar’s progress and look forward to our upcoming classes. I think he has a good shot at passing the class!
Here is a short clip of our Dairy Queen run to psych ourselves up on the way to class.
What can I say, ice cream pumps us up!